The 'Promenade to Gràcia', Barcelona's most elegant boulevard, heads up from Plaça de Catalunya and traditionally divides the Eixample into Left and Right. Elegant shops and banks lines its length; fantastical iron street lamps topped with bats arch over the street, announcing that this street is special; even the sidewalks are paved with swirling pale green and grey tiles based on a design by Gaudí.
The Passeig had a headstart over the other streets in the Eixample: in the 18th-century, when the rest of the area was covered in freshly dyed calico drying in the sun, the old road to the then-independent village of Gràcia was known as the ‘Elysian fields’, lined with dance halls, makeshift theatres, and beer gardens. Before the grand expansion scheme of the Eixample was put into place, it even had a roller coaster. The first trees were planted in 1827; first horse-drawn trams were added in 1872.
Image by Xavier Caballe